Maulana rapes 15-year-old, pregnant survivor told to sell her baby
In a shocking incident, a panchayat in Bihar held a pregnant 15-year-old girl responsible for her rape. Further, the panchayat ordered that the child be sold off, so the survivor could be compensated for her ordeal with the money. The case is now with the police, who is on the lookout for the two accused of raping the teenager. Here are more details.
According to The Telegraph, the incident took place in Muzaffarpur district's Katra. In Katra, families would often send food to Maulana Maqbool at the local mosque and the girl would sometimes deliver food to him. One day, the Maulana gave her sweets laced with sedatives and raped her. Subsequently, he raped her repeatedly over the next two months, threatening to kill her.
Reportedly, a local youth, identified as Muhammad Shoaib, found out about the sexual assault. However, instead of helping her, he too started raping the girl, who is the daughter of a laborer. The girl got pregnant from the repeated sexual assault by the two men.
Muhammad Sadre, a member of the Katra Masjid Committee, told The Telegraph that the girl approached the Katra "community panchayat" with her plea to find justice for rape at the beginning of this year. Sadre said, "However, our panchayat held her responsible for her plight. It ordered that the baby be sold off and the money received given to her."
"She gave birth to a child last month," Sadre said. "Negotiations were held with a family in Tajpur—in nearby Samastipur district—and the baby was to be sold to them for Rs. 1 lakh. I couldn't intervene and don't know whether the baby has been sold."
Further, Arun Kumar, mukhiya of the elected Katra panchayat, said the girl also requested him for justice. Kumar said, "I told her that such crimes cannot be settled by a panchayat and advised her to go to the police. I told her where she could get an application written for the police." The girl, however, approached the mosque committee, which held its own panchayats.
Once the community panchayat failed to get her justice, the girl approached the local police, who directed her to the district women's police station. Savita Devi, the officer in charge of the women's police station, said, "We have registered a case under the relevant penal code sections and also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act."
Devi added, "We raided the village thrice but could not find the accused. We will put up posters about the accused." A DNA test to identify the parentage of the child is now being considered, senior police officers said.